I don't know when you moved to the area, William, but there was a consultation on the changes (for what any Haringey consultation is worth!). If Haringey are ever open to listening to the public viewpoint that was when the would have done so. I was part of a group working for local residents and the issues of parking, air quality and the needs of cyclists were all raised with the Council.
I've been very vocal about the parking issue right from the initial residents' meeting on the plans with the Council in January 2018. We even organised two complete parkimg vacancy surveys on the Ladder to show up the nonsensical picture offered by Haringey's own guesstimates. They were really up for listening to that.
With regard to the pollution issue, I think we need to wait and see just how stop start the traffic is once the works are finished. I think that air quality measurements were taken on Wightman in the recent past. So comparative data will be available.
As to the fate of cyclists, I'm not the best person to comment but I'd value the thoughts of they Haringey Cycling Campaign. So I've reached out to them to see if they have anything to say. I'll report back if they reply.
The Council have always said that they'll review the work once it's finished. I'm as sceptical about the possible outcome of that as I am about the likelihood that Haringey ever really listens to local voices. But it may well be an opportunity for you to get your voice heard.
Here's the response from Haringey Cycling Campaign to the question I asked them earlier via Twitter:
Short version - Wightman Road is a dreadful road to cycle on due to excessive traffic volumes and speed, the changes won't significantly alter thatChatter on here is that it's worse (following the changes). But it's not finished yet so maybe too early to say. Either way most people will never consider cycling with traffic on a road that carries such high volumes. Current changes are tinkering, while ignoring the real issue of excessive traffic
You will note that the Review will take note only of " constructive " observations from residents - presumably the ones that say that the new layout is the best thing since sliced bread. Those comments that point out that it is a dog's breakfast will be binned.
Not sure why you think the sentiment on the effect of cycling on Wightman is positive. I get the exact opposite impression.
I honestly haven't noticed much difference either way, but am still withholding judgement until the whole thing's actually finished. Hopefully whatever road markings they paint at the 'chicanes' will make them easier for people to negotiate.
Drivers *should* be discouraged from the expectation that they can 'cruise at a steady pace' (presumably the usual 20+mph) because that is exactly what causes them to be impatient when dealing with cyclists.
I really hope the road markings can make a difference because otherwise it is looking grim.
It is looking like the only way that speed is being managed is via congestion. The congestion at the chicanes is hazardous and so is the speed of cars without congestion.
It is looking awful for cyclists - I cannot see how markings might help.
Honestly don't understand why you describe it as awful. I've been using it daily since the works started and (other than the queues caused by the temporary lights) haven't had any issues.
Why is the congestion hazardous? No one's forced to cycle past it, which makes it sound more like inconvenient.
I have found it dangerous - people driving too fast, too close. There are long stretches that are too narrow for cars to pass cyclists safely - but this is not necessarily obvious that this is happening unless drivers are really concentrating.
Cars are travelling fast when the road is clear - dashing between pinch points.
The congestion pinch points are dangerous for cars passing each other (markings might help with this if they successfully establish priorities - at the moment it is a battle of wills/civility).
To have designed a road that demands that cyclists have to sit in queues of traffic is an utter design fail.
Yes, lots of stop-start acceleration and little space left between cars. I've nearly been run over trying to cross the road a few times, which has never happened before. And if you hold up traffic for even a moment in order to park, lots of furious car horns. We were behind a lovely horse pulled carriage carrying a newly married couple on the weekend, which was obviously a bit slower, for maybe 2 blocks - it took only a minute before the horn chorus started. Such arseholes.
I agree about the issue with pedestrians crossing. The residents group made strong representations about this issue and in particular about the reliance on the meaningless and useless ‘informal crossings’ (essentially a red strip devoid of any legal meaning). Our representations succeeded in getting an additional zebra, but the sting n the tail was that this meant even more loss of parking.
When I saw the roadworks in progress I wondered if the build outs would mitigate the issue. I have to admit that I haven’t really tried crossing since the islands went. So it’s interesting to read your comments. (By the way, whilst pedestrians like the islands, cyclists hated them.)
I thought the same, so I was a bit surprised to find it felt a lot more dangerous actually trying to use them. i also underestimated the drop in air quality, which made it even more fun.
Crossing the road before was also a bit of a nightmare, but I could always walk to the next island and do it in two parts.
Now, I have to wait for quite a long time for a break in both directions of traffic and leg it, with the added bonus of sometimes finding one or both vehicles actually accelerating towards me because the gap I'm using to cross is their opportunity to go a bit faster.
It feels a lot like the only good solution would actually have been to stop Wightman being used for anything other than local traffic. Because the main issue here is the volume of vehicles and the speed at which they expect to travel.
If that doesn't change, nothing short of traffic lights will sort it (zebras are nice but I have been nearly clipped, shouted at and otherwise harassed plenty of times on the one on Endymion Rd leading to the park).
The good news is that there are still two zebras to be set out. One near the top of Mattison and one between Hewitt and Allison (by the New River Path).
I agree entirely. Road markings are not going to help - there has been a conscious decision to narrow the road. The net result is either: (i) when there is congestion, cyclists get stuck in the congestion and can’t get past the cars; and (ii) when there is not congestion, cars get frustrated at travelling the same speed as a cyclist, so overtake when there isn’t sufficient room to do so.
I responded to the council’s consultation to make the above point (as well as noting concerns about air pollution and parking bays). Unsurprisingly, the council seems to have ploughed ahead regardless.
I think it’s fair to say that most people expect a level of incompetence when dealing with any council, but Haringey Council really seems to have outdone itself this time.
I for one will be scrutinising whether the scheme, as implemented, reflects accurately the plans which the council put to consultation (including the exact location and positioning of the chicanes). The results of traffic surveys and air pollution figures should also be taken into account.